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Sunday, 31 July 2022


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I owned an EP-1 and, for a period after it was replaced as my primary, still used it on bike excursions with friends. On one of the trips I had accidentally left it at ISO 800. The pictures I got back on that excursion had a quality, having just capturing friends camping, standing around, in front of landscapes, backlit by sun, well they all looked *interesting* and offhand. Part of it was the way I shot, much like what we associate with street shooting. That feeling was enhanced by the 800 grain and desaturation.

These were hazy summer days, bright and colorful, and the technical "flaws" gave the moments a nice sense of the transience of a "good time had by all." So I kept shooting that way with that camera. It didn't hurt that I liked its grain and colors.

Would I have liked it as much had it not been for the "photography language" that the photos invoked, "vocabulary" that was established by film cameras? That is, because of the juxtaposition of street style with travel and fun? Or was it just the aesthetics of the grain and desaturation themselves? Hard to say.

We talked about the 16-20MP limits of micro four-thirds recently. With those sensors, I seek lit landscapes of a certain kind, usually with a sensor-appropriate dynamic range and with "textured tonality" for lack of the right terms that only some image samples would convey.

Maybe here is one:


Maybe it is just a picture of a big boat. And with a larger format, recent digital cam it might just be that. But on this micro four-thirds it looks painterly to me, and for some reason that quality makes me fond of the image. As if some bygone era painter decided to depict a mundane shipping vessel, but toss in some painterly pyrotechnics. It's not a great photo really, but I think it illustrates the tonality I practice seeking on my river walkabouts just in case a truly good scene presents itself one day. I'll know at that lucky moment what the sensor will do to that scene, recognize it and take it, thanks to this boat snap.

To understand "what we were thinking about between 1994 and 2015", what better site than this one?

Qualities and Properties was interesting indeed. Let's face it many of us photographers are still at it, talking noise, dynamic range, resolution etc etc. I think one reason is that these things are measurable whereas real picture qualities are purely subjective.

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